Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Here in your arms...I'm Forgiven

December 29, 2010

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
A Mentor to Author Gil Bailie

During the last several weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak with people whom I would have not have normally connected with. One of them in particular reached out to me and recommended a book to me. He recommended a book by John Eldridge – Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. As soon as I started reading this book, I could not put it down. I finished it in three days.

Chapter 11 reached down to my soul. John stated, “God is intimately personal with us and he speaks in ways that are peculiar to our own quirky hearts-not just through the Bible, but through the whole creation.”
He goes on talking about how the lord talks to his wife through movies and through him through sunsets, friends, films, books etc. I thought how the lord speaks to me and came up with several different ways. I love music, from singing in choir to band to listening to a wide assortment of music. I recently surprised Matt when he asked me if I had ever heard of “Fortunate Son” and I said “yes, Credence Clearwater Revival or CCR”. I also love the outdoors, from the mountains (especially) to the ocean.

John Challenged the reader, he challenged me that in order to recover my “Heart’s Desire”, I needed to get away from the grind of my daily life, all the noise and distractions that come with it and find time with my own soul. I needed to head into the wilderness where it was quiet and I had some solitude.

I immediately thought of what I could do and when I could do it. The second week of Christmas vacation was coming up, my kids would be going back to their mom’s for the break, and I would be able to trek off on my own. Although it has been years, I have numerous hours of wilderness survival skills, including cold weather camping and survival. Perfect, the mountains to spend a day and night by myself where I could cancel out all the noises and sounds related to my daily life. I selected a location off Highway 4 that I am very familiar with the backcountry, began thinking of the gear I would need, including borrowing some snowshoes from my dad.

I told several friends that I would send them a delayed email, that if they received it, would mean that I had not returned yet and to send out the Calvary. Although I could see myself living to a ripe old age and dying in the mountains somewhere, I am nowhere near wanting that just yet.

Well as things have happened for a reason lately, my son Matt did not go to his mom’s house for the second week. That in itself is another story that at this point and time does not warrant speaking about. Therefore, now I had Matt with me and wanted to do some bonding with him, yet still have some solitude time. Snowboarding. I could take him snowboarding, put him in a lesson and spend some time by myself.

Although I am building my father son bond with Matt, I was compelled to ask Serina to go with us too. Serina is the daughter of my Brother David’s girlfriend for many years prior to his death. I had recently reconnected with her and her mother and received an answer to a prayer to help Serina. David was like a father figure for her until his death when she was eight. I wanted to help her cope with David’s death like I have and helping her to find her way back to the lord.

So, today we went snowboarding. Serina came over last night and we prayed before bed and I asked the lord for calm weather for our trip as we were amidst one of the big storms of the season. It rained and the wind howled all night. We woke up this morning and in the dark walked out to clear skies. As we drove towards the mountains, the sunrise was inviting and showed blue skies.

As we got into the mountains, the snow started falling as we got to about 4000 feet. Nonetheless, the majority of the drive was in calm weather.

Matt and Serina went to their snowboarding lesson and I was able to go off by myself for a bit. I took the lifts to the highest point in the park. For some reason, all the lifts today went extra slow, maybe because of the weather, or maybe the Lord just needed me to reflect as I slowly meandered up the lifts to the top of the mountain. As we got to the top, the wind was blowing harder, visibility was down to about 50’ and the snow was coming in sideways.

I got to the top of the mountain and found a place to sit. I just sat there, head down listening to the sound of the wind blowing the snow all around me. I listened to the sound of the snow hitting my jacket and making a soft tapping sound. There were people around me, but I could not hear them. They were drowned out by the sound of the Lord talking to me. As I sat there for awhile, just thinking about my life, where I’ve been, what I've experienced in my career, where I am headed in life, the snow slowly started to build up around me, on my shoulders, head and my body. It was as if the lord was there next to me, wrapping his arms around me, telling me that everything was all right and he was there for me. I felt at ease with life and where he was taking me. It was not the “adventure” I had planned out, but again, the lord works in mysterious ways and it might not have been safe for me to be out in the storm last night by myself. Maybe he felt I would be better suited to bond with Matt and Serina. For whatever reason, he had me on that hillside today.

As I was getting ready to head down the mountain, I turned on my music and it began playing a song by Sanctus Real. I had recently found a song that touched me to the core by Sanctus Real called “Lead Me”, so I downloaded it onto iTunes. Apparently I liked a couple of their other songs from their previews and downloaded them too. The song I downloaded and heard was “Forgiven”. It stopped me in my tracks and brought tears to my eyes.

Well the past is playing with my head
And failure knocks me down again
I’m reminded of the wrong
That I have said and done
And that devil just wont let me forget
In this life
I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms
I know what I am
I’m forgiven
I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
Cause I’m forgiven
My mistakes are running through my mind
And I’ll relive my days, in the middle of the night
When I wrestle with my pain, struggle with my pride
Sometimes I feel alone, and I cry
When I don't think and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ ‘cause
Sanctus Real - Forgiven

I realized I had just found a part of my soul. My journey began with me asking the Lord for forgiveness because even though I was aware of how he wanted me to live my life, I had not been living my life. I know that the Lord will forgive us of our sins when we ask, but I had not heard from the Lord that he had forgiven me of my sins. Faith tells me to realize that the Lord does not need to tell us that we are forgiven, because if we ask him to forgive us and we are truly humble and sincere, he will forgive us.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." ~ 1 John 1:9